Kōsaku Matsumora

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Kosaku Matsumora
Ryūkyū Kingdom
Died1898 (aged 68–69)
Okinawa, Japan
StyleMatsumora-type Tomari-te[1]
Teacher(s)Karyu Uku, Kishin Teruya[2]
Notable studentsChoki Motobu, Chotoku Kyan[2]

Kosaku Matsumora (松茂良 興作, Matsumora Kōsaku, 1829 - 1898) was a Ryūkyūan karate master. He studied Tomari-te under Karyu Uku (aka Giko Uku) and Kishin Teruya. He also studied Jigen-ryu. Among Matsumora's students, who went on to influence new generations through students of their own, were Choki Motobu and Chotoku Kyan.[2]

Teaching Kyan[edit]

Matsumora is credited as the master who taught Chotoku Kyan the kata Chinto (his own version, not to be confused with Sokon Matsumura's version of the same kata). Another student of Matsumora, Maeda Pechin, is credited with teaching Kyan the kata Wanshu.[2]


Kosaku Matsumora became famous at the age of 20 when he stole a sword out of the hands of an angry Satsuma overlord using only a "wet towel" as a weapon.[3] Matsumora quickly revealed the moist Japanese towel which he had recently developed a habit of carrying concealed inside his garment.[clarification needed][4] Matsumora hit the astonished samurai with the wet towel and grabbed the sword. In the process, Matsumora lost a thumb. He threw the thumb and the sword in the nearby Asato River. The official story comes from Shōshin Nagamine. This event was so insulting to the Japanese overlords that Matsumora became an Okinawan folk hero overnight.[3]

Additional information[edit]


  1. ^ Okinawan Karate, Second Edition, by Mark Bishop, p. 72, ISBN 0-8048-3205-6
  2. ^ a b c d Okinawan Karate, Second Edition, by Mark Bishop, p. 73, ISBN 0-8048-3205-6
  3. ^ a b Shotokan's Secret, The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins by Bruce D. Clayton, p. 70, ISBN 978-0-89750-144-6
  4. ^ Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters, by Shoshin Nagamine, p. 32, ISBN 0-8048-2089-9

See also[edit]